Libreville (BLAZETRENDS).- The president of Gabon since 2009, Ali Bongo, announced this Sunday his candidacy for a third term in the presidential elections to be held on August 26.
“Today I officially announce that I am a candidate,” declared the Gabonese head of state, applauded by a large crowd during a speech broadcast live on his social networks during a visit to the Nkok Special Economic Zone, a town a few kilometers southeast of the capital, Libreville.
“Candidate to continue the work, candidate to take Gabon further,” he added, pointing out that he can be accused “of many things, but not a lack of ambition for my country.”
Gabon will hold presidential, parliamentary and local elections on August 26, uniting the three elections for the first time on a single day.
Gabon, which has just over two million inhabitants and where the presidential term was reduced from seven to five years last April, has been ruled by the Bongo family for more than five decades.
The 64-year-old head of state has held power since 2009, when his father, Omar Bongo, died, one of the richest men on the planet thanks to the fortune derived from the oil wealth of the country that he ruled since 1967.
In 2018, Ali Bongo was hospitalized abroad due to “severe fatigue”, according to the Presidency, although some local media claimed, citing official sources, that he suffered a stroke.
During his absence, speculation arose about his ability to govern and political tensions arose in Gabon, but upon his return to the country he continued to exercise his functions as president.
The last presidential elections, held in 2016, were marred by demonstrations, repression and alleged fraud denounced by opposition parties, which led Bongo’s main opponent, Jean Ping, not to recognize the election results, triggering violent protests.